01 February 2008

Splat!

I've been hunting around for some time trying to find a good new layout for my blog.

I'm not being picky, it's just that most of what's out there just didn't really ever do it for me.

Regular readers might recall that I originally set this one up on Blogger using their 'Son Of Moto' template, which just happened to be the kind of tasteful green that I was after.

And Green has some tradition - Dikkii's Diatribe was green to begin with.

Blogger don't add terribly much in the way of templates very often, so I had to make do with what I had. The problem was, however, that all the bits that I kept adding to the blog meant that it was starting to look very busy.

So earlier in the year, I adopted a new temporary template, hoping that this might alleviate some of the busy-ness. It didn't.

But at that time, I was already searching for a new template that I could make work.

Fruitless and annoying bloody exercise that it was, I eventually found something at Blogger Buster, a great blog maintained by Amanda Fazani, who bills herself as a "full-time mum and blogger".

Great work, Amanda.

This is a template that she has called 'Sunset'.


Pretty good, hey? The code is available here.

So while this looks good and all, it wasn't the thing I needed.

So I had to do some modifications.

First up was to change the background colour to green. Hey, Dikkii's Diatribe is green, OK?

Then the photo had to go. I found a pretty good graphic that I've been using at MySpace - so I already knew that it would go well with the colour.

The sidebar colour is hard-coded as black. So I changed that to match my background colour. This left two graphics that I no longer needed, so I got rid of them. Also, there were some peculiar borders that I didn't like. But for some reason, they only show up in Blogger's 'Fonts and Colors' editor. This is good.

Then, I changed the colour of all the fonts. This was messy and disgusting, and I'm not altogether happy with the results.

After this, I increased the size of the sidebars to fit a bit more in.

At this point, I saved the code. I call it 'Splat'.
You can download it here - it's pretty basic.

In order to get this up to a point where I could use it, I had to make some minor alterations from here. For some reason, I couldn't get my corporate logo at the top of the blog page to display properly, so I had to hard-code the dimensions for the graphic.

Lastly, there was some messy stuffing around with code before I had all my widgets working again.

But if truth be told, now I have it all under control, I rather like it.

What do you think?

11 comments:

KitKat said...

I think you need to get out more.

Plonka said...

I had all the same trouble but found what I wanted at the same place you did...:)

taj said...

oh good heavens that's truly green.

Dikkii said...

KitKat, I do need to get out more - this is true. But I had fun doing this. And that's probably not good.

Plonka, I had a feeling that you did yours at Blogger Buster. It's really quite good for this sort of thing.

Taj, this is a better green than the one I originally had it at during the old days. The one that I originally set Dikkii's Diatribe up with was a horrid fluorescent green.

morisetn said...

Taj: It's not easy being green, but doesn't Dikkii pull it off rather well?

MichaelBains said...

Looks like you'll need to be mowin' it pretty often. {-;

Dikkii said...

Ah green jokes. Love em.

Dunc said...

Dude - liking green is one thing, but this is ridiculous. It's totally messing with my eyes.

Rule 1 of successful web design: your pages should not be actively painful to look at. Dave Neiwart's bad enough with all that orange over at Orcinus, but this is beyond a joke. Are you colour-blind or something?

Dikkii said...

Thanks for dropping by, Dunc, and call me whatever name you like, but I thought that this was relatively soft and inoffensive.

Looks like I'll have to reconsider that.

Dunc said...

The colour-blind question wasn't intended as name calling, it was a serious enquiry. If you think this green is soft and inoffensive, your colour perception may be somewhat outside what's considered "normal". (Or mine could be, but I'm pretty sure it's not. I've done the full range of tests.)

Lots of people have "abnormal" colour perception. Taking that factor into account is one of the less well-known skills in accessible web design. Generally speaking, strong primary colours do not make for good backgrounds.

Dikkii said...

The colour-blind question wasn't intended as name calling, it was a serious enquiry. If you think this green is soft and inoffensive, your colour perception may be somewhat outside what's considered "normal". (Or mine could be, but I'm pretty sure it's not. I've done the full range of tests.)

Sorry, Dunc, I wasn't being serious with that line about name calling. I'm aware that it was a serious query, I just got a little flippant.

My colour perception is pretty good, I think, but I really am not aiming to hurt people's eyes with this. I just like this particular layout. And green.

And, you know, a white background would be so, I dunno, readable, yet boring and unoriginal.

Generally speaking, strong primary colours do not make for good backgrounds.

Point taken.

Sigh.